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Huskies nearly pull off stunner, lose on clutch shot vs. No. 1 Gonzaga

Percy Allen, The Seattle Times on

Published in Basketball

SPOKANE, Wash. -- Washington put a scare in No. 1 Gonzaga, but the Huskies fell 81-79 against the top team in the country Wednesday night.

The Bulldogs didn't run the Huskies out of the gym like they did in their recent matchups, but they continued their dominance in the in-state rivalry that originated in 1910.

Washington pushed its cross-state rival all the way until the end.

Sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell capped a sensational 26-point performance with a pair of free throws that tied the score 79-79 with 9.4 seconds left.

However, Gonzaga star Rui Hachimura had an answer at the other end when he hit a midrange jumper near the free throw line over Sam Timmins outstretched hand with just 0.6 seconds on the clock.

It wasn't enough time for the Huskies as Dominic Green's desperate half-court heave at the buzzer fell short.

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Hachimura finished with 26 points for Gonzaga (9-0), which used its big front line to wear down the Huskies late in the second half.

While the Bulldogs picked away at the Huskies' 2-3 zone on the inside, GU shut down UW big man Noah Dickerson and held him to just 13 points -- well below his season average -- before fouling out with less than three minutes left.

Nowell and Matisse Thybulle (18 points and four assists) picked up the scoring slack for Washington, which fell to 6-3.

In front of a sold-out crowd of 6,000 at McCarthey Athletic Center, the Huskies put a scare in the Bulldogs. Washington has lost 12 of its past 13 games against Gonzaga, and had dropped its past two games by an average of 27 points.

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